US retailer 7-Eleven has confirmed plans to expand its store network in North America, expansion that may see a doubling of store numbers.

A spokesperson for 7 Eleven, owned by Japan’s Seven & I Holdings, said the geographic focus of its new store development will be on down-town urban locations. Among the markets high on its list for development are New York, San Francisco Bay, Chicago, Jacksonville and Miami, amongst others.

As of the end of April, the retailer was operating 10,135 in North America, which it said includes stores in Canada, the US and Mexico.

Speaking to Bloomberg last week, Seven & I chairman Toshifumi Suzuki said the company could increase its store number to 20,000 or even 30,000. He did not provide a timeframe for the planned expansion.

The spokesperson told just-food the urban locations it has its eye on offer a mix of residential and daytime worker populations, high density housing, a mix of traffic generators such as theatres and clubs, and they allow operation around the clock.

7-Eleven is selling around 139 of its stores across the US, acquired through acquisitions, as a result of them being too small for use and too small for its format.